This year at high schools and colleges there are more cases of head lice than any time in recent memory. While most years head lice are spread between younger kids, it is the increase in older teens with lice that sparked concerned. According to lice-treatment expert, there is a correlation between the rise of ‘group selfies’ and head lice.
Here is what they are saying:
“I’ve seen a huge increase of lice in teens this year. Typically it’s younger children I treat, because they’re at higher risk for head-to-head contact. But now, teens are sticking their heads together every day to take cell phone pics,” explains Marcy McQuillan of Scotts Valley’s Nitless Noggins.
As for their rigorous scientific research that led to this conclusion?
“Every teen I’ve treated, I ask about selfies, and they admit that they are taking them every day…I think parents need to be aware, and teenagers need to be aware too. Selfies are fun, but the consequences are real.”
Perhaps not surprisingly, people associated with medical treatment rather than making money off sellnig product have a slightly different perspective:
“The way we’re taught,” he said of his medical schooling, “is that it takes contact for an extended period of time, and 10 seconds is not what I’d consider an extended period of time. We’re in rooms with patients that have lice, and we don’t really worry about getting it transmitted from one person to the other while in the room.”
What do I think? I have no idea – perhaps there are some isolated cases where lice were spread this way … but the likelihood of an epidemic? Incredibly small. Regardless, I would say that normal precautions should be taken and scalps checked occasionally … just like every other year.